Pioneering chef Alain Senderens dies at age 77

Senderens cookbookFrench chef Alain Senderens, who helped create nouvelle cuisine, has died at age 77. In the 1960s and 1970s, Senderens, along with a coterie of French chefs including Paul Bocuse and Michel Guerard, pioneered a lighter, sleeker style of cooking that moved away from sauce-heavy traditional French cuisine.  

Senderens helmed two different three-Michelin-star restaurants (L'Archestrate and Lucas Carton) for 28 years combined. In 2005, he shocked the culinary world by renouncing those hard-earned stars in a reboot of the latter restaurant, which he renamed after himself, in favor of what he deemed as a more affordable, less formal way to dine. 

The chef loved to push against the culinary establishment, introducing novel combinations such as lobster and vanilla, and by proclaiming that white wine should be served with cheese. Senderens also mentored many chefs, including  Alain Passard of Restaurant Arpege, one of the world's top 50 restaurants. 

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